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When you buy something new, you usually want to try it out first, and the same should go when it comes to buying a car. Don’t be tempted to skip a test drive just because experts give the vehicle a high rating. The primary purpose of a test drive is to make sure the car fits you personally, and the only one who can make that determination is you.
Before taking the wheel, make sure you understand the parameters of that dealership’s test-driving policy. In some cases, a dealership’s insurance policy may require that a salesperson or dealership employee ride with you during your test drive. If you are allowed to test drive a vehicle alone, ask a dealer if its insurance policy covers accidents that happen when a customer tests one of its cars.
When you arrive to meet that prospective “new-to-you” ride for the first time, you’ll want a few things to be set up for you. First, ask the seller to ensure the engine is stone-cold and hasn’t been pre-warmed ahead of your arrival. This may mean coordinating a time to see the vehicle when it’s been parked for an hour or two. Sometimes, sellers will pre-warm a vehicle’s engine to conceal a sound or issue that’s more apparent at startup – including visible smoke from the tailpipes or an unwanted rattle or knock when the engine is cold. Accurately checking oil levels may require the engine to be cold as well, but still check the instructions in the owner’s manual of the specific vehicle you’re considering to be sure.
Before driving an unfamiliar car, ask the car salesperson to explain how it’s operated. Ask where the turn signals are and anything unusual about how the car’s transmission or shifter work. If you’re interested in a car’s navigation system, radio, stereo, or how to use a car’s convertible top, ask for a demonstration before your test drive.
If you are unfamiliar with driving a car with a manual transmission (a stick shift), do not attempt to learn while taking your test drive. Drive on roads that mimic your regular driving activity. For example, if you have a long commute on an interstate highway every day, it would probably be a good idea to test-drive potential vehicles on a nearby stretch of the interstate. Drive a route that will allow you to experience how the car handles speeds, stop and go traffic, inclines, declines, and bumpy roads.
There are a number of crucial things that you should pay attention to when test driving a vehicle. How smoothly the car accelerates, how easy it is to steer the vehicle, how the car handles bumps or stretches of rough road, visibility, and comfort.
Having a plan as you shop for a new (or “new-to-you”) ride will help ensure you end up with a vehicle you’ll enjoy driving in the years to come.
About Spirit West Rapid Refinish
Spirit West Rapid Refinish, established in 2011, was formed to focus on providing quality service for customers who are paying out of pocket for automobile repairs and streamline the workflow volume.
We take great pride with teamwork and our commitment to making sure our team receives training on the latest innovative state-of-the-art equipment and collision repair techniques.
We are proud to say our team is family, and we treat our customers like family too. Whether you need minor collision repair services, bumper repair or vehicle paint, give us a call today to see how we can restore your vehicle to its original factory finish.
Spirit West Motor Carriage, founded in 1977, is a full-service auto body repair shop serving the St. Louis and surrounding Metro area. For nearly four decades, our family-owned business and our experienced staff have been providing quality auto collision repair, mechanical, paintless dent repair (PDR), complete paint refinishing, and wheel and framing alignment services.